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Three-dimensional and molecular analysis of the venous pole of the developing human heart

Three-dimensional and molecular analysis of the venous pole of the developing human heart

Circulation 122(8): 798-807

Various congenital malformations and many abnormal rhythms originate from the venous pole of the heart. Because of rapid changes during morphogenesis, lack of molecular and lineage data, and difficulties in presenting complex morphogenetic changes in the developing heart in a clear fashion, the development of this region in human has been difficult to grasp. To gain insight into the development of the different types of myocardium forming the venous pole of the human heart, we performed an immunohistochemical and 3-dimensional analysis of serial sections of human embryos ranging from 22 through 40 days of development. Three-dimensional models were prepared in a novel interactive portable format providing crucial spatial information and facilitating interpretation. As in the mouse, the systemic venous myocardium expresses the transcription factor TBX18, whereas the pulmonary venous myocardium expresses NKX2-5. In contrast to the mouse, a systemic venous sinus is identified upstream from the atrial chambers, albeit initially with nonmyocardial walls. From the outset, as in the mouse, the pulmonary vein empties to a chamber with atrial, rather than systemic venous, characteristics. Compared with the mouse, the vestibular spine is a more prominent structure. The similarities in gene expression in the distinctive types of myocardium surrounding the systemic and pulmonary venous tributaries in man and mouse permit extrapolation of the conclusions drawn from transgenic and lineage studies in the mouse to the human, showing that the systemic and pulmonary venous myocardial sleeves are derived from distinct developmental lineages.

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Accession: 056569003

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PMID: 20697026

DOI: 10.1161/circulationaha.110.953844

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